ISL: Chennaiyin FC rope in Portuguese attacker Esmael Goncalves on free transfer for 2020-21 season

The 29-year-old, better known as Isma, is capable of playing anywhere across the forward line and is set for his maiden stint in India.

Press Trust of India October 11, 2020 14:05:31 IST
ISL: Chennaiyin FC rope in Portuguese attacker Esmael Goncalves on free transfer for 2020-21 season

Chennai: Two-time champions Chennaiyin FC on Sunday announced the signing of Portuguese attacker Esmael Goncalves, who has the experience of playing in the UEFA Champions League, on a free transfer for the 2020-21 ISL season.

The 29-year-old, better known as Isma, is capable of playing anywhere across the forward line and is set for his maiden stint in India.

"It feels great to join Chennaiyin FC, a club that represents a city with rich culture and a wonderful fanbase," Isma was quoted as saying in a media release.

"My conversations with our head coach have been great so far, and I truly believe in the project he has in mind for us. I will work extremely hard to fulfil what my team and coaches expect from me," he added.

With UEFA Champions League, Europa League and AFC Asian Champions League experience, Isma is well-versed in operating across the front line, highlighted by his record of netting 75 goals in almost 250 career appearances.

Coach Csaba Laszlo said, "Isma has a proven eye for goal with prior experience of playing in Asia. He has the capabilities of a lethal marksman and we hope to benefit from his versatility in the forward areas."

Isma's youth career included stints with Boavista in Portugal and Nice in France. He went on to make his senior team bow for the latter in 2011.

The former Portugal U-21 international then signed for Rio Ave in the Portuguese top-flight, spending three seasons there. His time there included loan moves to St. Mirren (Scotland), Veria (Greece), APOEL Nicosia and Anorthosis Famagusta (both Cyprus).

He won the 2012-13 Scottish League Cup with St. Mirren, scoring in the semi-final win against Celtic on debut. He has plied his trade in Cyprus, Uzbekistan and Japan.

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